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tv   Bloomberg West  Bloomberg  July 29, 2014 11:00pm-12:01am EDT

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>> welcome to "bloomberg west," i'm cory johnson in and in new york for emily chang. twitter and a big earnings announcement today -- turnaround plans look like they are working. the cost love planning to add services to keep users engaged and a looking gauge when you look at the numbers, posting their biggest time of user growth since 2013. on a year-over-year basis, monthly active users up before percent. 221 million -- that's about 9% sequentially. sales surging 124% to 320 $4 million.
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the company losing in the gap earnings, down a lot, but once you strip that out, you see the company profitable when you stick out the stock conversation and as a result, the stock is going bonkers in after-hours trading. has twitter really fixed the problems vexing their growth? my guess is a former twitter director of platforming in san francisco and my friend david kirkpatrick joins us via skype from upstate new york. the numbers today -- i looked hard for anything that looked negative and i can usually find something. i didn't see anything particularly bad here at all. >> i think this is a banner quarter for them and what everyone has been hoping to see. incredible growth, incredible engagement and the revenue continues to beat everyone's expectations. a great quarter overall. >> your take? >> i'm probably not quite as optimistic.
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user growth could be stronger. these guys are like the little engine that could. i think they're going to have more trouble than they do. koslow is doing a great job and it's wonderful quarter nara major presence in the industry but user growth in the places they can make money, they still had a challenge. ask looking at user growth year over year, looking at a quarter after quarter, you're just piling people on top of people. it's not a seasonal thing, or is it? >> i think it's about getting a product in place that continues to connect with users and figures out how to get the best value out of twitter. they are hyper focused on opening a product that helps users see that value. >> do you think they are really doing a good job owning a product that can help ordinary users connect on twitter? >> i think they are getting there.
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the world cup was a great demonstration about building a product focused on a very specific experience. i think there's a lot of work ahead they are starting to get there and see the early turns of that kind of product. >> do you think they are building a good product? >> the product is amazing for us and probably even name a jordy of the viewers of this show. it is not amazing for our siblings, our parents, and even our children. certainly our children have an easier time of it. but it takes an initiation process to use twitter. i know i myself still get confused about certain things about it and i think they've got an ongoing problem with the product itself. also have a problem, even though they have a lot of users, the amount of time users were spending on it is down, so there's another negative. plus they have this huge challenge to international users that earn them way less money for a user than to mess to clean, like maybe 1/7 as much.
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that's a big set of challenges. i do think it's an indispensable product that is a central figure in modern culture that will stay for the duration. my basic view of twitter remains that it will never be a company with the gravitas and scale of facebook and google. those who think it will will be disappointed. >> how long has there been a debate -- it seems to me there has to be a fundamental decision about do we tailor a product for different kinds of users different needs -- people like david and diane people in the media are constantly broadcasting ideas and reporting in different ways. but for other people, are there different products for different people? >> i think it's relatively near what they have been doing and
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it's a simple product that speaks to everyone. they need to work at building a product that is understandable to all users. but i disagree that's not going to touch all people around the world and have gravitas like facebook. they're talking about the off network piece of twitter -- twitter permeates the fabric of society on tv, the web -- it's not just about the people logging into the service. if you think of twitter as an information news network and every user with a mobile phone, that's valuable. it just about albums of photos for friends of stop i think there's a level of gravitas you won't see. their job is to get from 271 million users to a billion users and at the vague challenge. but the fundamentals will be valuable to a billion plus users. >> david kirkpatrick, thank you very much all stop we appreciated. yesterday, a judge ruled that
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the record to billion dollar sale of the l.a. clippers to steve ulmer can go ahead without the consent of the owner. the judge said sterling's life has the sole authority to sell the franchise after sterling was banned from the nba for making racist comments. trish regan sat down with the clippers interim ceo, dick parsons and asked about ballmer's reaction to the ruling? >> you can't wait to get approved and take ownership of this team and really start to participate in the way an owner can. i didn't think he was going to disappear before we got to this point, that's were sure. >> trish regan joins us from california. >> a lot of people are very happy. the community here, players on the team, and this interim ceo, dick parsons.
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he said there is a real potential for this to become america's team because a lot of people have been following the story very closely. now the worst is behind us as far as getting donald sterling of the mix. we talked about steve ballmer, paying an extra ordinary amount of money for this team, 12 times revenue. $2 billion and he says there's a lot steve can do with this team and the players are very excited. it should be exciting. listen to this. >> i will go so far to say it's much ado about nothing. but we are a long, long way from a transaction. i know time warner management very well. i put most of them in place. i know the time warner board very well. i know that if they manifest
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this -- i've been going half a dozen years -- that they have shareholder value uppermost in mind. the stock has tripled in the last six years. i think they have their shareholder base with them and they know what they are doing. they've got a plan going forward and with respect, just look at that from the outside. the price that was offered is way off the mark and the currency offered is way off the mark. >> that is dick parsons talking about the time warner potential merger with murdoch potentially coming in and buying the company. he used to run time warner, so he has some insight to this. he specified he had not spoken directly but doesn't necessarily
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think this is a deal that is ready to go. he cited the currency, meaning you are talking about nonvoting shares and he cited the price as being may be getting ahead of themselves here as we watched shares trading around $84. $80 billion for a bid for this company that many believe will only move higher and that may be one of the reasons rupert murdoch is selling off a lot of european assets right now. >> maybe he still owns a lot of
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shares and is hoping for another bidder. i think even dick parsons would tell you and mbeki did in that interview last and say it was an enormous amount of money for the team. four times what any other nba franchise has been. there may have been a tremendous amount of potential in the television rights, it made number. >> thanks. more of "bloomberg west" next. ♪
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>> i'm emily chang and this is bloomberg west. linkedin is rolling out a new
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design on its mobile product. the professional social network has been on a buying spree come acquiring companies. the startup comes the internet for blogs that mention users friends. the senior vice president of product and user experience joins me now from mountain view, california. thanks as always for joining us. tell us about these new mobile profiles and how they are effort from the old ones. >> it's great to be back on this show. it's always good to talk to you about new and excited things going on at linkedin, especially in the world of mobile. we launched our new profile and it follows the team of relationships. we launched a new product called connected on mobile devices and we truly believe they should ships -- relationships matter. one of the reasons we established those relationships is when we meet new people and want to know more about them.
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rather than using the age-old icebreaker of how is the weather? it's been a real hot in silicon valley or what's happening with the price of gold -- thee profile makes it easy for an individual to look fabulous for the folks looking at that profile as well as for that interaction and relationship to become more personal and intimate. >> mobile has been a big focus for you. what kind of growth are you seeing in mobile versus desktop? >> the mobile has been growing nicely for us. as we announced at the end of our last quarter, 43% of weekly visitors are coming on mobile devices. when we announce our earnings, you will see some new numbers in that direction. i look at our mobile interaction as a means of enabling professionals to work where they
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want to work and keep our strategy. it is a great crucible for innovation as we allow new things like our mobile profiles. we want to integrate some of that goodness back into our desktop topics as well. >> when are we going to see that? are we going to see new user profiles on the desktop? >> we're always integrating the things we learn from one platform on to the other. you can expect a lot of the goodness we see on one platform to show up on another. i will come back and let you know when we integrate those things. but i recently spoke with the cofounder of linkedin and executive chair of a reid hoffman. i asked him about what keeps him up at night when it comes to linkedin. take a listen to what he had to say.
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>> what i most worry about is are we under delivering against the opportunity? we have this ability to have people's identities on this platform to change the way they work. are we doing well enough against that very long-term opportunity? there are a lot of things that need to be done over years in order to get there. are we being bold enough? >> he went on to say are we taking bold enough steps and making big enough decisions, taking risk. how do you want daily basis tried to do that to make sure linkedin is capitalizing on the opportunity you believe is out there? >> i believe what he says really resonates with me and the executive team at linkedin. we are not just taking bold button exploring new avenues to fulfill the promise of what linkedin means to our over 300 million members, but we are
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looking at new ways of innovating and inventing how that connected world works. if you think about it as professionals, we get as he under to focus on what we are doing and at the same time, there's a little insecurity -- are we doing enough? are we presenting ourselves in the best possible way and putting the best foot forward? that part of the opportunity, promise and vision reid promises. we -- it is also a really long 30. truly great companies continue to deliver on really far-reaching vision than those go on for decades at a time. that's really an exciting part of being at linkedin. >> you're looking at making smaller acquisitions right.
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how much more of this are we going to see? >> all of these acquisitions fit in nicely with our product strategy. really knowing the people in your network is a great way to further relationships with them. similar to the mobile profile that we have. i was looking at your profile before the show and it turns out you went to the same high school my daughter went to summer camp a couple of summers ago. >> really? >> yes. >> in hawaii. what are the odds. that is what these acquisitions are about. how can we further that goal and vision of enabling the professional to be the best at what they are and help them grow and nurture their relationships? >> you guys do have six apps total right now. why do you have some any? why not just focus on one? >> have the flagship apps. we want to make sure for our
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members that we are there with the right kind of experience for them throughout the day and throughout their career. when you have young children, you have the opportunity to go to a big ox store like bloomingdale's and do shopping. but once and a while, you want to go to gymboree or gap kids. a job searcher for instance could use a flagship app but they are intensely in the job searching more and we believe giving them an application that we just launched a few weeks ago is one of the better ways to go. you're not going to dozens of these apps. but you want to make sure we are addressing the right point and user experiences for our members. >> thank you as always for joining us on "bloomberg west. we will be right back. ♪
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>> welcome back to "bloomberg west." i'm emily chang. it's a big win for apple in a blow to act very. fortis converting to apple instead of like very. about 9000 ford employees will receive iphones in the next four years. don chen has been counting on corporate accounts to turn the company around. blackberry may be losing ford but is buying a german company that provides anti-eavesdropping technology for mobile phones. it counts german chancellor angela merkel as a client. the first acquisition under blackberry ceo john chen. jordan robinson covers cyber security for bloomberg news. tell us more about what this does and why blackberry wants it. >> it is encryption technology that sits on the device itself. in this post edward snowden
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era securities everything for these companies. it is funny that blackberry is buying this empathy because blackberry gained its reputation and became they go to business smartphone maker a few years ago on the basis of the reputation for security and they lost that reputation for a while. this is a kind of back to the future moment for them. >> is it a little surprising they did not already have this technology? >> they were partnering with this company, so they had access to the technology, so it makes sense for them. they want to be seen as the security smart phone provider. they're facing competition. samsung has been pushing their products and hacking threats to mobile phones are not as prevalent as they are in pcs yet, so it is a mixed bag. it's important for them to have ended important part of their turnaround strategy. >> how do you see it fitting into the broader strategy?
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john chen is trying to remake the company but he is still making devices and trying to be less reliant on devices which less and less people are using. does it make sense he's doing something to make phones better when they are going to be focusing on enterprise software and services? >> that's a good question considering what this technology does. this is a hardware-based solution, so you encrypt the data, it stays on the device and you cannot access it. one of blackberry's date innovations of the past was its server, which was software essentially which encrypted the user information and nobody could access it that way. this is a hardware focused acquisition and a hard one, but it is a diversion from what he has described as a strategy. >> jordan robinson in washington dc, thank you so much. ok cupid comes clean -- that dating site says they do experiment on users.
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what kind of tests are being conducted and what were the results? we will tell you next, on "bloomberg west." ♪
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>> you are watching "bloomberg west" where we focus on the future of technology and business. ok cupid says they have experiment on their users, admitting in a blog post that they have conducted experiments, prompting the kinds of conversations when pictures were removed and changing the rating systems to match to for users. the admission comes just a few months after facebook apologized for similar studies on unknowing users. cory johnson joins me now from new york with more on ok cupid house experiment. tell us about what exactly these tests involved. >> there were a handful of tests where they basically altered
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people's profiles to see what kind of response they would get. some were as simple as changing the text or removing the text that describes somebody. the photo thing they did where they would take someone's profile and remove the photo to see what kind of responsible kind of messages they would get. if they found my removing the photos is users get 44% more messages and the conversations would actually good the per. contact details were exchanged faster. but this is also messing with the profile somebody elected to put out there in the world. i think the most interesting one is the confidence game. not the old-fashioned three card monte game, but the card game was here where they would tell somebody with a 30% match ability score that they were 90%. they followed those people once they had that confidence and they would engage in more messages and get more active in the dating community. >> they said they would
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manipulate the compatibility score to make it higher or lower. if it was higher, they felt more inclined to message those people and it goes to show how easily websites can manipulate our emotions and emotional responses. >> i think the reason this touches such a nerve is that maybe this is about dating or sex -- something so personal and intimate -- the notion that a business would change this data -- they were just messing around for fun and were not engaged me scientific study as facebook was a few months ago. they were actually trying to change user's profile to get more actions on their site and -- this is a commercial effort to try to change the way their businesses succeeding in the competitive world of online dating when they are up against eharmony and all of the other sites.
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i think it's a pretty big deal and it is what makes this particularly pernicious. >> facebook has been the target of a huge uproar in the last several weeks for similarly trying to do experiment to manipulate people's emotions. ok cupid doesn't seem like it's getting the same amount of heat. but both companies say this is in the name of experimentation and in the name of improving the service. is it ok if that's the end goal? >> let me offer two takeaways -- mark zuckerberg and ok cupid's notion of privacy may not be yours but your data you are talking about. the bigger issue is for businesses that start to engage in social media at construct media based on user information. if you are the product -- when companies are engaging -- they
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love that word, engaging with their consumer and touching their consumers and new sorts of ways. the consumer might feel very differently about that relationship. while the company might think it's their data to mess with, the consumer that feels like it's their data and they can decide how to put it out there has a very different relationship with that business and brand. ok cupid's cofounder saying he's only heard two complaints but the complaints you might hear are people jumping to or you name it. whatever business they were getting they may not get anymore because they messed with the trust of their customers. >> we did reach out to ok cupid for comment, but we have not heard back. thank you. the ride hailing app uber has rolled out a new program dedicated to business travelers. they can book rides and pay with
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corporate expense accounts. for more on the push to get more customers, stephanie ruhl spoke with the vice president of business for uber asking how the corporate service works. >> we're going to make it easier for employees to get their receipt from the system directly into their expense system and for the corporate travel expense person, we are going to give them a dashboard on the web where they can add employees, remove them and look at their spend across their employee base. it's going to make it easier to manage. >> when you say look at their spend, will those coo's of businesses the able to look at the usage numbers? one of the issues they had with corporate accounts before is an endless pit of money they are spending on car services -- tens of thousands of dollars on the wait times that they cannot give to the bottom of? >> you have dealt with paper
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receipts, vouchers, credit card statements and all kinds of different methods. we are going to simplify that and urge them to consolidate their expenses cities where we are cheaper than a taxi, makes no sense not to use uber. >> do need to branch out in this kind of this is? you can't the cheaper than a taxi forever. >> you can, actually. we do unique things with our business models to make it cheaper for trimers to own and insure cars. we can bring the price down pretty low and places we can do that, it's going to be great for the corporations. >> when do people need to take cars question markets to dinner
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at 6:00 or 7:00, when it is time for surge. >> surge happens a small percentage -- >> i'm not going to give you that. i'm happy to pay my surge but it happens a lot. >> would you rather ruin your coat in the rain? i don't know. >> no, that's why i'm ok with that. but are you going to be attracting these accounts because they ride at those surge times? >> i think we are an option. we give people an option and they can use us or they can use some other ground transport. if they don't feel like we're the best and most efficient, they can use something else but our mission is to provide the safest and most reliable ride so we want to get to you in under five minutes. if that means surge sometime, we are going to go for reliability is the thing we are providing consumers. >> how many people check twitter
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regularly but don't actually tweet question or we asked more than a thousand twitter users how they use the platform and we will bring you the results, next. ♪
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>> i'm emily chang and this is "bloomberg west" on bloomberg television, streaming on your phone, tablet and we turn back to twitter. users have flocked to twitter since the first tweet was sent in 2006, but keeping users engaged is a huge challenge for the company. we asked more than a thousand people in the united states how they use twitter for this month's surveymonkey shakedown. cory johnson is back with us from new york and dave goldberg joins me now in the studio.
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sheryl sandberg, your wife, works for facebook, which is a competitor to twitter. you talk to a thousand people? >> we surveyed over a thousand consumers and ask them how they use twitter. everyone has heard of twitter but only 38% say they actually use it on a regular basis. but it was slightly higher with younger consumers. >> awareness is high and adoption is not? >> it's pretty good. i don't think it's horrible, just relative to the awareness. what are people using it for. where are people not using it are some of the questions. >> are these newer users? >> most people -- this is interesting. most people who joined twitter in the last couple of years if they are using it and it's not surprising but it is greater than i would have guessed in the numbers of users that have joined in the last two years and
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the ipo probably did a lot to help drive a lot of new users to it. >> i wonder if that's a sign of user growth? we are talking about twitter earnings earlier today. these numbers don't look at that. >> i think overseas is a a deal also. user growth is very different overseas. how did you guys select these people who responded? what do you know about where they were and how did you find them? >> these are people who signed up for us to take surveys for charity. it's general u.s. consumers, so is broadly representative. people take our survey. it's very high quality data. >> let's talk about twitter. what did people find about the ads?
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>> relative to other advertising, we don't have comparisons here. people generally saw some of the ads. they were not particularly annoyed by them. if we look at other sites, it would look similar or worse than twitter. i don't think the ads are an issue or problem for twitters. >> the ad strategy seems to be in the early stages of stop at least that's what they say. there's a long way to go but also a lot of attentional. -- a lot of potential. >> they're figuring that out and figuring out how to use the potential they get. the holy grail is not just a way to get people to look at ads but use contextual information about the way people tweet and show them ads they want to see where they don't feel like they are advertising. that is an enormous big data challenge and enormous learning
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challenge for the machines that run twitter to really figure out who people are to give them ads without having to get people involved in that media placement. >> about how people are accessing twitter? >> it is 51% on smartphones some another 10% on tablet. 56% mobile -- that's not surprising. >> it's hard to say but for consumer applications, that's going to be the norm. it's just the way that people consume it and it's short and always grew up in the mobile. twitter from its infancy was a mobile medium. >> we were talking about it today. i think twitter, the challenge that -- this is my personal thing. it's hard to explain to people
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the utility of it until they get used to it and then people find a lot of value in it. >> that's the problem. >> follow me on twitter and you will know much more about me. she's a facebook user and gets confused with twitter. >> that is the problem for twitter. the on ramping of people. some people have no use for twitter because they don't think of themselves as people who want to tell the world stuff in 140 characters or less. i had the same reaction when i was compelled to start tweeting when i started this job. but it is the kind of thing that now i love sending out tweets and i think a lot of people certainly have that experience where it is a way to share and communicate. >> it's my personal experience but the fact that linkedin and twitter, linkedin has made it easy for me to do both at the same time.
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i've noticed by doing that i get a lot more reaction on both tms, by doing it through both at the same time. that has been good for both of those companies. >> all questions are good. thank you so much for today's survey monkey shakedown. we will be right back with more "bloomberg west." ♪
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>> welcome back. the spacex president made a bold prediction, saying they could be sending people to mars in 10 years. we spoke to the chief technologist for inspiration mars. i asked how far away we were from humans landing on the red planet. >> landing on mars is a real trick. we are much closer to getting people in mars orbit or flying by mars.
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that would be a great long-term goal. it's going to take some technology development. we landed a one ton rover on mars which is an amazing accomplishment. one thing we learned from that is landing a five ton lander with crew on board is going to be really tricky and we will need several of those. it is difficult, but it's no more difficult than apollo was when that happened and is probably a lot less difficult. on a scale of hard, it's not quite that hard. >> you have a lot of different companies working on this from nasa to spacex. who's going to get there first? >> i think it's going to be a team effort. spacex have gotten where they have gotten in no small measure by working with nasa, both funding and technical as -- google expertise and have done an amazing job.
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these public-private order ships are really going to be the key. philanthropy is working with nasa as well as companies working with nasa. >> getting to mars is one thing, but what about getting back? >> if you only go into mars orbit am i getting back is a lot easier. if you land on the surface, that part of why getting to mars is so hard because you have to land all the things that get you back off the surface. it turns out if you can land equipment to make your rocket fuel on the surface of mars, that is enabling. it's very hard to land all of our rocket you'll on mars and take off with that fuel. you have to make it while you are there. >> you and your wife have been planning your own trip to mars for the better part of two decades. why? why you want to go so badly and what does getting there involved for you?
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>> i think going there really involves doing something that is so hard that it's worthy of america. that's what a lot of people miss about the space program. america needs is kind of hard technical challenges both to spur on innovation and also to inspire kids into science and show what amazing things can be done with science and technology. it's all about making america strong. >> how does the business model differ? the apollo mission you reference created a lot of as those opportunities but there was an enormous government spending. how is the business model differ in for nasa for such a massive effort now? >> i think nasa can probably do more in the way of ordering with philanthropies and companies for sponsorship. i think there's going to be more international partnering as well.
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nasa come in the administration and congress need to take a leadership position. then find the partners that make it happen. people keep talking about what huge amounts of money this is going to be. maybe we had to get up to 1% of government spending to inspire america and secure our economic future. we are not talking about that much money, especially if nasa works with other entities. >> what kind of technology do we need to get her that we don't have yet or that is in development or is not deployed yet? >> one of the big inferences between now and apollo was we had to invent just about everything for apollo. now the things we need to invent really involve landing on the surface of mars and getting back off the surface of mars. the international space station has basically proven we have the technologies to get to and from mars and live on the surface.
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there is a lot more testing to do but a lot of propulsion and life-support technologies are in place. it is that last step into the surface of mars and back. >> spacex has been talking about going beyond mars, dominating the solar system by 2100. do you think that's possible? other planets? >> i would never want to underestimate elon musk and len -- they are doing amazing things. i think it would be a shame if there was one monopolistic company dominating the solar system. it would be the empire. i would hope in good american tradition or planetary tradition that there are several companies out there competing. they are certainly leading the way in many areas. it is fabulous to see what they're doing.
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>> who knows what the future holds? the chief officer for inspiration mars. and it's time now for the bwest byte -- one number that tells a whole lot. cory has got the bite for us today. $778,197 million. that's the revenues had four 2013. 10% rise over the previous years. this includes revenues for, hook up and yes ok , cupid. little-known fact. ok cupid is how we met. people don't know that. [laughter] >> i've been waiting for you to make an ok cupid joke the whole show. >> i almost made it. >> i have no comment. thank you all for watching. all the latest headlines all the
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time at ♪ . .
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